Athens aims to prove it is se­ri­ous on sell-offs

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As Greece strug­gles to earn the next pay­out from its third bailout, the re­vival of its stalled pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­gram may help re­build cred­i­tors’ trust af­ter months of of­ten bit­ter con­fronta­tion. Greece is aim­ing to lease 14 re­gional air­ports and line up the sale of a ma­jor­ity stake in the port of Pi­raeus be­fore the end of the year as the gov­ern­ment at­tempts to rev up as­set sales that have con­sis­tently failed to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions through suc­ces­sive bailouts. Next year of­fi­cials in Athens are tar­get­ing 3.5 bil­lion eu­ros from as­set sales and con­ces­sions, as much as the coun­try raised in the past four years. “The will­ing­ness of the gov-

Greek ship­pers are pre­par­ing for the 4.1 per­cent growth in mar­itime trans­port that the IMF expects for 2016 by in­creas­ing their ship­ping ca­pac­ity from 258.5 mil­lion tons in 2014 to 279.5 mil­lion eu­ros this year, ac­cord­ing to the an­nual re­port of the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on Trade and De­vel­op­ment (UNCTAD). ern­ment to con­tinue the pri­va­ti­za­tions will sig­nal its cred­i­bil­ity and the abil­ity to take own­er­ship of Greece’s third eco­nomic ad­just­ment pro­gram,” said Theodoros Sta­ma­tiou, se­nior econ­o­mist at Eurobank. “The cur­rent se­ries of pri­va­ti­za­tions will sig­nal to for­eign in­vestors that the gov­ern­ment is will­ing to do busi­ness with the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.” By De­cem­ber, the gov­ern­ment aims to com­plete the 1.2-bil­lion-euro re­gional air­port lease with Fra­port AG-Slen­tel and re­ceive a bind­ing of­fers for a 67 per­cent stake in Pi­raeus Port Author­ity SA from AP Moller-Maersk’s APM Ter­mi­nals unit, China’s Cosco Hold­ing Co and Philip­pine port op­er­a­tor In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal Ser­vices Inc. That deal is due to be com­pleted in early 2016. Th­ese pri­va­ti­za­tions “will have an im­pres­sive im­pact on the Greek econ­omy” and will show that the econ­omy “has been sta­bi­lized,” Stergios Pit­sior­las, chair­man of the Hel- lenic Re­pub­lic As­set De­vel­op­ment Fund, said in an in­ter­view in Athens. “They will rad­i­cally change the im­age of the coun­try and bring more in­vest­ments.” The fund will also ad­dress “as a mat­ter of pri­or­ity” the 20-year ex­ten­sion of the con­ces­sion to op­er­ate Athens In­ter­na­tional Air­port and the sale of a 30 per­cent stake in the Greek cap­i­tal’s air trans­port hub, Pit­sior­las said.

Ship­ping growth.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.